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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2011;49:197-217. doi: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-072910-095230.

Diversity of Puccinia striiformis on cereals and grasses.

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Department of Integrated Pest Management, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark.


Yellow (stripe) rust is a common fungal disease on cereals and grasses. It is caused by Puccinia striiformis sensu lato, which is biotrophic and heteroecious. The pathogen is specialized on the primary host at both species and cultivar levels, whereas several Berberis spp. may serve as alternate hosts. One lineage infects mainly cereals and at least two lineages are restricted to grasses. P. striiformis on cereals has a typical clonal population structure in many areas, resulting from asexual reproduction, but high diversity, suggesting frequent recombination, has been observed in certain areas in Asia. Yellow rust is spreading by airborne spores potentially across long distances, which may contribute to sudden disease epidemics in new areas. This has been the case since 2000, where large-scale epidemics in warmer wheat-growing areas have been ascribed to the emergence of two closely related yellow rust strains with increased aggressiveness and tolerance to warm temperatures.

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